Comparative Analysis of Constraints to Cassava Production by Cassava Farmer Loan Beneficiaries and Loan Non-Beneficiaries in South-South Nigeria (Published)
This study was carried out to analyse and compare the constraints to cassava production among cassava farmer loan beneficiaries (CFLB) and cassava farmer loan non-beneficiaries (CFLNB) in South-south Nigeria. Purposive, multi-stage random sampling techniques were used to select a total of five hundred (500) respondents which comprised of two hundred and fifty (250) CFLB and another 250 CFLNB. Primary data were sourced through three sets of well – structured questionnaires to the two categories of farmers and the third to the banks officials. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were employed in data analysis. The result of data analysis showed that the mean age of CFLB was 43 years with 26% within 36 and 45 years active working population while the mean age of CFLNB was 41 years with about 31% within 36 and 45 years. Majority, about 60% of CFLB and about 74% of CFLNB were males while about 40% of CFLB and about 25% of CFLNB were females. The mean household size for both CFLB and CFLNB was 5 persons. However, the mean number of years spent in schools by CFLB was 12 years, while the CFLNB spent 10 years. The mean farming experience by CFLB was 5 years while the CFLNB was 6 years. The mean annual farm income of CFLB was N188,602.00 whereas the mean annual farm income of CFLNB was N100,000.00. The major constraints limiting cassava production among CFLB and CFLNB were scarcity and high cost of fertilizer (87.97%) and (77.46%), high cost of agrochemicals (87.55%) and (77.05%), unavailability of research results to cassava farmers at the appropriate time (79.25%) and inadequate extension services (77.59%). The least problems were drought (43.98%), soil water pollution (36.93%) and stream/river pollution (35.68%). It was concluded that increasing cassava farmers’ access to loan would enhance their productivity through improved well-being and living standard. Recommendations such as timely disbursement of loans, improved supervision by bank officials, regular visit by the extension staff, adequate training of successful loan applicants, design and implementation of cassava- friendly loan package as well as small-loan mechanisms to favour cassava farmers were made among others.